Pros & Cons for Polished Concrete Floors
A relatively modern option, which should be considered well as an indoor flooring material, is concrete. It is a fairly inexpensive flooring choice that is versatile and highly functional, and also is very eco-friendly. A more aesthetically appealing look for concrete might be given by adding a color or stencil, and may be made to resemble marble, wood or river rock. For just about any decorating style, this diversity is almost ideal. However, concrete is a material with both negative and positive aspects for homeowners to consider before construction.
Pro: Tough Material
Concrete is among the most durable because it is one of the hardest materials in the construction world. Concrete is highly scratch resistance, as long as it is laid and cured properly it is an ideal characteristic for flooring. As long as they are cleaned and cared for properly, they almost never need replacement and these types of floors are long lasting. Concrete is easily attainable and often less expensive than stone or tile alternatives, and is widely available at home improvement and similar retail outlets.
The American Lung Association is highly recommending concrete floors for people with allergies and asthma. At preventing buildup of dust, animal dander and dust mites, it is especially helpful. Removing them from the home may be difficult, even with a vacuum, because these allergens live deep in a carpet’s matting. However, this problem does not present itself with concrete because it may be vacuumed, swept or mopped as needed.
Because of its use of fossil fuels for manufacturing, standard concrete, which is made by mixing Portland cement with gravel, sand and water, is not an eco-friendly material. Homeowners can find more modern mixtures for a greener option such as varieties that use a byproduct of iron manufacturing, blast furnace slag, or a byproduct of coal burning, fly ash, as Portland replacement. Durable products with a lower environmental cost are produced by both of these mixtures. These products are widely available at nationwide retailers and home improvement stores, just like standard concrete.
Occasionally, cracks in concrete floors may be caused by temperature fluctuations. Concrete will grow and shrink during different times of the year, as with outdoor applications. Even if they are subtle, these changes may cause minor cracks to the concrete’s surface. However, these cracks may go unnoticed with a polished or otherwise decorated concrete floor, and in some instances may give a bit of character to the room. A few simple fixes may be applied for those situations where the cracks are too big to ignore or just not liked. A waterproof resin or sealant may be applied to seal the crack and prevent it from becoming worse. In addition, a thin layer of cement, and a cement overlay may be applied over the top of the cracks to make them invisible. However, reproducing the color and texture may be a chore, though easy and effective.
Con: Additional Labor
Just a few materials are required by concrete countertops, and for that reason are less costly than marble, granite and sometimes even tile. But homeowners should consider the highly specialized labor involved in the installation process, though the low cost may be tempting. Concrete may be obviously uneven and ultimately won’t settle properly if installed incorrectly. That may result in a more easily damaged floor or one that cracks.
- Images: returntostone.com, myfloor.net.au, agavedesignsinc.com